Archive for the ‘Immunization’ category

Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child

April 26th, 2011

You want to do what is best for your children. You know about the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep them safe. But, did you know that one of the best ways to protect your children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations?

Immunizations can save your child’s life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. One example of the great impact that vaccines can have is the elimination of polio in the United States. Polio was once America’s most-feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the country, but today, thanks to vaccination, there are no reports of polio in the United States.

Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.

Immunization protects others you care about. Children in the U.S. still get still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, we have seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. In 2010 the U.S. had over 21,000 cases of whooping cough reported and 26 deaths, most in children younger than 6 months. Unfortunately, some babies are too young to be completely vaccinated and some people may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia, or other reasons. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones.

Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or daycare facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care. In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. The Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families. To find out more about the VFC program, visit or ask your child’s health care professional.

Immunization protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide. Your children don’t have to get smallpox shots any more because the disease no longer exists. By vaccinating children against rubella (German measles), the risk that pregnant women will pass this virus on to their fetus or newborn has been dramatically decreased, and birth defects associated with that virus no longer are seen in the United States. If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future.

For more information about the importance of infant immunization, visit

National Infant Immunization Week

April 25th, 2011

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States. This year, NIIW is scheduled to be held April 23-30.

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.

Are your children’s vaccines up to date?

August 16th, 2010

National Immunization Awareness MonthWe all need immunizations (also called vaccines or shots) to help protect us from serious diseases. To help keep our local community safe, during the month of August, the Martin County Health Department is proudly participating in National Immunization Awareness Month. Shots can prevent infectious diseases like measles, diphtheria, and rubella. But people in the U.S. still die from these and other vaccine-preventable diseases. It’s important to know which shots you need and when to get them.

Shots work best when they are given at certain ages. Here are some general guidelines:

• Children need a series of shots from birth to age 6.

• Pre-teens need recommended shots at age 11 or 12.

• All adults need a tetanus booster shot every 10 years. Starting at the age of 50, adults also need shots to prevent flu and pneumonia.

Talk to your doctor or local health department to find out which immunizations you and your children need. For more information, contact the Martin County Health Department at 606-298-7752.

“Catch Up” Vaccines Available at Health Department

August 4th, 2010

The Kentucky Department for Public Health and the Kentucky Vaccine Program currently has funding to enhance vaccine efforts in young adults (aged 19 through 26 years). As a result of this special program, the Martin County Health Department will be offering these “catch up” vaccines at a discounted rate to young adults who are uninsured (no insurance) or underinsured (insurance does not cover vaccines).

Vaccines available in this program help to protect against the following vaccine preventable diseases: Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Tetanus, Diphtheria and “Whooping Cough”.

Vaccines help prevent many serious diseases and thus, improve the health and well-being of our community.

These vaccines will be administered by appointment and at low or no cost, depending on income. For further information or to make an appointment, call the health department at 606-298-7752.